Portsmouth boss weighs up winger options for AFC Wimbledon trip

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Kenny Jackett is confident his winger absences won’t hinder Pompey.

The Blues are without three of their available widemen as they go to AFC Wimbledon.

Pompey's Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis, who is on international duty with Republic of Ireland under-21s. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey's Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis, who is on international duty with Republic of Ireland under-21s. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett has confirmed David Wheeler is out for the rest of the month after picking up an ankle injury and will join Andre Green (knee) in the treatment room.

With Ronan Curtis away on international duty with Republic of Ireland under-21s, the Blues are shorn of their usual options down the flanks.

Jackett is mulling over going with wing-backs after trying out a 3-5-2 formation in the second half against Crawley.

But the Pompey boss explained he has decent winger options to stick with a 4-2-3-1 in Gareth Evans, who has been playing centrally, and Jamal Lowe

Jackett stated he has no qualms about moving Lowe to the left from his usual berth on the right, and switching sides can be a useful tool for Pompey’s joint-top scorer.

He said: ‘In terms of wide men we have Jamal Lowe and Gareth Evans with experience there. So we shouldn’t have to go too far off track in terms of our selection.

‘Jamal has to be open and there has been times, if he’s down one side, it’s a little bit easier to curtail or target him.

‘We’ve talked about him sometimes swapping sides.

‘The Rochdale game he started fantastically well for 35 minutes. They made a substitution before half-time and then changed their formation and (Ollie) Rathbone was doubling up on him.

‘It made it difficult for him to get back into the game.

‘There has to be circumstances like that where I can swap him to the other side where there’s a bit more space.

‘For a defender, if they get into a rhythm of playing against one player it can set a pattern.

‘So to set a different player against them can set them different tests.

‘People work out your strengths and weaknesses.It’s the same for everyone. 

‘If one area’s being targeted you have to be good enough to open up in another area.’

Jackett expressed his sympathy for Wheeler, who he admitted was in line for a run in his Pompey first team after being patient in his wait for starts.

He added: ‘Dave (Wheeler) has had to wait for his chance but I thought he made a positive impression Saturday and, generally, he’s a good player who will do well for us.

‘He’ll be frustrated because it looked like he’d build on a good appearance and there’d be a starting berth for him.’